Team of the week
Scott Loach - Ipswich Town
Given that they found themselves inside the drop zone at the end of November, and perched just above the bottom three as recently as early March, the fact that Ipswich will now feel that they are safe for another year speaks volumes about how they have fared of late. Mick McCarthy oversaw a fifth game without defeat on Saturday, as Town left it late to see off Derby 1-0. That result owed plenty to the efforts of Loach, as he kept out a first-half penalty from Jamie Ward to keep the scores level and the points up for grabs.
Tom Kennedy - Barnsley
Barnsley are another side to have found form at just the right time, with the Tykes having given themselves a shot at Championship survival. They have suffered only one defeat in their last six to move a point clear of the relegation trapdoor. They added another useful point to their tally over the weekend during a testing trip to Crystal Palace. The Eagles may have dipped of late, but the Tykes still had to battle bravely to a goalless draw - with Kennedy helping them to pick up back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season.
Jason Shackell - Burnley
It is probably a little too late for Burnley to force themselves into the play-off mix, but they are looking to end the season with a flourish. A four-match unbeaten run suggests there is not too much wrong with Sean Dyche's side right now. They have drawn a few too many fixtures this season, but broke a run of three straight stalemates on Saturday as they put another nail in rock-bottom Bristol City's coffin. Shackell was among the goals during a 3-1 win at Turf Moor, nodding home from close range to level matters early in the second half.
Joel Ekstrand - Watford
Despite their latest fixture pitching them into combat with table-topping Cardiff, Watford will feel that an opportunity passed them by on Saturday evening. The Hornets collected another point from a goalless draw, but are now three adrift of the automatic promotion places. Cardiff made life difficult for Gianfranco Zola's side at Vicarage Road, but Ekstrand helped the hosts to a clean sheet and came close to setting up a winner for Troy Deeney late on - only to see him denied by a smart stop from David Marshall.
Marcos Alonso - Bolton Wanderers
It remains to be seen whether Alonso will still be at the Reebok Stadium next season, with there a possibility that his effort on Saturday will be his last for Bolton. The Spanish full-back is yet to sign a contract extension and is believed to be attracting plenty of interest from clubs looking for proven free agents. Alonso showed against Wolves that he can impact proceedings at both ends of the field - securing a shut-out and helping himself to a goal in a 2-0 victory which keeps the Trotters in play-off contention.
Robbie Brady - Hull City
Brady is likely to have struck cleaner free-kicks in his life than the one he sent goalwards 62 minutes into a home date with Middlesbrough on Saturday. He will, however, have few complaints about the end result, as the ball squirmed under the body of Jason Steele and into the net. Brady's effort ended up settling the KC Stadium contest, with Hull City making a welcome return to winning ways in front of their own supporters. A 1-0 victory allowed them to cement their standing in second place and edge a step closer to a Premier League return.
Johnnie Jackson - Charlton Athletic
Inconsistency has cost Charlton this season, with productive runs all too often followed by alarming dips. The Addicks are on an upward curve at the moment, with one defeat suffered in their last six. They are back inside the top half and looking to kick on towards the finishing line. They collected a dramatic 2-1 victory over Leeds in their latest outing, with a stoppage-time effort seeing them to three points. Jackson did not get the winner, but he did crash home the pick of the goals just after half-time to put Charlton on their way.
Lewis McGugan - Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest are now unbeaten in 11, with Billy Davies yet to taste defeat since returning to the City Ground hot-seat for a second spell. Had he not had McGugan at his disposal, there is every chance that he and the Reds would have come unstuck before now. The midfielder is in red-hot form, having found the target in six successive games. His last two efforts have come from the penalty spot, and both have come late on in games to snatch a point. That was the case again on Saturday as he held his nerve to salvage a 1-1 draw with Blackpool.
Kazenga LuaLua - Brighton & Hove Albion
While Forest have now been held to three straight draws, so too have Brighton. They also occupy a standing inside the top six, a point adrift of Forest in sixth. They were able to cling on to that lofty perch on Saturday courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Leicester - the side directly below them in the standings. It appeared at one stage as though the Seagulls would be grounded by the Foxes, as they trailed 1-0 with just two minutes left on the clock. LuaLua was to provide a late sting in the tail, though, as he rifled home a crucial leveller for the hosts.
Jermaine Johnson - Sheffield Wednesday
Those towards the bottom appear to be performing considerably better than those towards the top at the moment, with Wednesday another of those scrapping for safety to have suddenly sprung into life. They have won three of their last five to move three points clear of the drop zone. They have that safety net thanks to a hard-fought 3-2 victory over out-of-sorts Blackburn. Johnson's deadly double at Hillsborough proved to be the difference on the day - with two crisp strikes from distance helping to send Rovers crashing into the bottom three.
Dwight Gayle - Peterborough United
Peterborough must be wondering what they have to do to get their head above water, with the Posh currently unbeaten in their last eight. Any club in the division would settle for a run like that right now, but Darren Ferguson's side remain second from bottom in the table. They are, however, only a point adrift of safety and will hope to make the most of the momentum they have been able to build. Peterborough have been able to harness a never-say-die mentality over recent weeks, and that served them well again on Saturday as Gayle netted four minutes from time to snatch a 2-2 draw at fellow strugglers Huddersfield - his 12th goal in 24 appearances for the Posh.